A Melbourne mum is warning parents not to buy toys with button batteries in them after her daughter nearly died from swallowing one.
Shaylah Carmichael, 5, from Cranbourne, nearly died in April after her parents discovered she had swallowed a button battery in a TV remote, Nine News reports.
It followed months of hospital visits and unexplained illness.
In warning other parents, her mum Kirra told Nine News that doctors informed the family she had swallowed the battery which had “eroded her oesophagus”.
The five-year-old had a “serious fight ahead,” medical staff warned the mother.
Luckily they managed to have the button removed and Shaylah is still on the mend. Ms Carmichael said if another day had passed Shaylah would have died.
“Just don’t buy button battery products,” the mum told Nine News.
Consumer advocate group CHOICE spoke about the dangers of button batteries to children in September. CHOICE said it found 10 out of 17 button battery-powered household items it inspected were considered dangerous.
Extremely hazardous if swallowed, button batteries are used in a broad range of personal and household products such as toys and games, remote controls for appliances and electronics, garage door openers and key fobs, torches, kitchen scales, musical greeting cards, and other accessories.
There have also been 17 cases of kids being seriously injured after swallowing the batteries since December 2017, plus two deaths.
In August this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) established a Button Battery Taskforce to investigate ways to reduce risk to the Australian community, particularly children, of button batteries.
Toys removed from shelves ahead of Christmas
A number of toys have already been pulled from shelves ahead of the holidays.
Queensland’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said a number of pool toys were seized after an inspection of 365 retailers in stores and pop-up shops across the state and 7,580 different toys were examined.
“Two types of yo-yo balls, which are banned nationally due to their strangulation and choking risk, were found on the shelves,” Ms D’Ath said.
“Two inflatable emojis and a goose swim ring were identified as not having correct safety labelling to inform parents about the safe use of the products in water.”
It was found the inflatable emojis also deflate “very easily”.
“If people are shopping for gifts for children this Christmas, the rule of thumb should always be: the smaller the child, the bigger the toy,” Ms D’Ath said.
“Check the labelling carefully as toys that are labelled as unsuitable for children under three may contain small parts that could be a choking hazard.
“If buying a gift for a small child, check for any loose parts. Anything smaller than a 20 cent piece poses a choking risk.”
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